THE Heart Foundation today honours Australia’s best healthy communities as part of its Local Government Awards program that recognise local councils’ contribution to tackling heart disease through healthy community initiatives.
Cobar Shire Council (New South Wales), Mid Murray Council (South Australia), and the City of Charles Sturt (South Australia) have been named the national winners of the 2015 Heart Foundation Local Government Awards in recognition for demonstrating best practice in creating healthier communities.
National Heart Foundation CEO, Mary Barry said the awards offer a way for the Heart Foundation to recognise the achievements of local government in continuing the fight against heart disease.
“The reality is that heart disease remains the single biggest killer of Australian men and women, yet is largely preventable through simple lifestyle changes,” said Ms Barry.
“Being more physically active, reducing smoking rates, and improved diet are the greatest weapons against heart disease, and local environments that promote sustained healthy behaviour are vital to Australia’s future health.
“The winning local councils implemented a range of health based initiatives including Public Health Plans, active transport schemes, community gardens, healthy catering policies, and geocaching to get young families active.
“All of the Heart Foundation’s national winners are fantastic examples of how simple policy changes and a supportive local environment can alter the health of an entire local community for the better.
“These local councils are true advocates of the role a healthy environment plays to ensure the future health of every Australian and should be commended for their contribution to tackling heart disease in Australia.”
The Heart Foundation Local Government Awards are now in its 23rd year. More information about the awards, including the 2015 winner booklet that profiles all national and state award recipients can be accessed via the Heart Foundation website.